This is one of the easiest and most delicious pasta dish you will come across. I assure you, even if you don’t like peas, you will enjoy them because they are bathing in the pancetta fat. I like to use a short pasta for this recipe. The last time I made this dish, I used a pasta shape called Fusilli that looks like a corkscrew. I sent my son shopping for me, and he told me he could not find the Fusilli but found Rotini instead. They are very similar in shape and look like corkscrews, except the Rotini is shorter. Recently, a Facebook friend posted this dish on his profile, and it looked delicious. I tried it for Christmas, and it was a big hit. I made it again In January for my family. Sadly, this was the last time my dad was able to eat (food) my pasta. I will not get into personal details but this recipe has a lot of emotions attached to it. I am hanging on to hope that someday, soon, he will be able to taste my pasta again. Let’s get cooking! Follow me in Gina’s Kitchen!
Level of difficulty: Easy – Serves: 4-6 as a main meal
- 3/4 lb. pancetta, sliced 1/2-inch thick, then chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more to drizzle
- 10 oz. frozen peas, thawed
- 15 oz. ricotta, whole milk
- 1 lb. Rotini or any short pasta or your choice
- 1/4 cup pasta water, (save after draining pasta)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese)
1) In a large stainless-steel skillet, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, brown the pancetta, for about 10 minutes, (do not over cook, you don’t want them too crispy) add the peas, continue cooking while stirring for another 10 minutes or so, until you obtain a nice brown color like you see in the picture. At this point, turn the burner on the lowest setting.
2) Simultaneously, In a large pot, bring the pasta water to a boil. Add salt, and cook pasta according to package directions. I always cook mine al dente, meaning to the bite in Italian, (undercooked for 1-2 minutes) that is your choice, but I recommend it. Save some pasta water, and drain.
3) Add pasta to the pancetta and peas, slowly stir in the ricotta, the water, parmesan cheese, black pepper. Please note, the burner is still on the lowest setting to warm up the ricotta. Stir it just enough to incorporate all the ingredients and remove quickly. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately while it’s piping hot.
My family had a feast, and my biggest joy in life is seeing them relish my food. This is what fuels me to keep cooking. My life has been hectic, but I am hoping to find more time in the kitchen.
I hope you will try this recipe, and when you do, please share your thoughts with me.
Wine pairing: I recommend a medium to full-bodied red wine with enough acidity to cut though the fattiness of this savory dish. A Chianti, Rosso, Super Tuscan, (and the list goes on) will make a superb pairing. I am not a huge fan of white wine but occasionally, I do enjoy a crisp one with certain meals.
1) The use of butter is an option, and you can add it at the end with the ricotta. It will make the dish creamier and add richness but it is also added calories. If you are on a low-fat diet, you may want to avoid it altogether and stick to the olive oil. I did not use butter and surprisingly the taste was amazing.
2) Regular bacon can be used instead of pancetta.
This dish is inspired by Timothy Eric DeMarco
This is the ratio and method that I used in my version of the recipe.
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
Gina aka Foodiewinelover